“Everybody automatically thinks that dollars are going to be the main driver of employee satisfaction and that’s not the case a lot of the time,” said Sara Cromwell, Abell Pest Control. Just as important: Acknowledging the contributions of employees.

According to the 2019 PCT/NPMA Workplace Survey, 61 percent of employees were satisfied with the recognition they received for their work. “I think that we can always do better at that; all of us,” said Cromwell of the industry.

Some companies host special events for employees and their families to recognize the hard work and hours logged during the busy season. Others reward high-performing employees with cruises, retreats and vacations.

Of course, pay is important, too, and the survey found that income increased for three-quarters (75 percent) of employees compared to five years ago.

“Even though I will always want to make more money, I am satisfied with the amount of money that I make,” said Antonio Briceno, Truly Nolen of America. “Compared to five years ago, I am making more money because every year I sell more,” he said.

Employees were compensated via salary (59 percent), hourly wage (31 percent), commission (30 percent), and/or bonus (27 percent), found the survey.

Alec Rogers, Neff Exterminating, started working hourly and then moved to commission to make more money. He said his boss gives him every opportunity to take on high-producing work like bed bug jobs. “It’s been the highest-grossing job I’ve had,” said Neff of his current position.

Compensation, however, was a major point of contention on employer-review websites like Glassdoor and Indeed, where former workers said companies did a poor job explaining how compensation programs worked and some implied the programs were designed to cheat them of earnings.

“The pay is not great for the time and effort you put in,” wrote a customer care specialist. A pest control technician said, “None of the techs knew how we were getting paid.”

Terminix Service implemented training to help workers understand the company’s incentive and commission program. “A lot of employees come to us not understanding what that is,” said Rion Cobb. And if they don’t understand how it works, they can get scared off, he explained.